Senate Suspends bill seeking life sentence for Drug offenders

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The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday made the decision to suspend a bill aimed at imposing life sentences on individuals involved in drug-related offenses. Although the bill had already passed the third reading in the House of Representatives and was awaiting Senate concurrence, it was put on hold for further review.

The bill, which seeks to strengthen the operations of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), empowers the agency to establish laboratories, and update the list of dangerous drugs, was presented for consideration by Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele.

In his argument, he noted that proposed amendment would enhance penalty provisions and augment the agency’s power to prosecute drug-related offenses.

In his prayers, he said “Under the provisions of the bill, individuals engaged in unlawful activities such as importing, manufacturing, processing, planting, or growing drugs like cocaine, LSD, heroin, or similar substances would face life imprisonment”

“Similarly, exporters, transporters, or traffickers of drugs would also be subject to life imprisonment”

The bill further proposes life imprisonment for those involved in selling, buying, exposing, offering for sale, or dealing in drugs.
It also suggests a prison term ranging from fifteen to twenty-five years for individuals found inhaling or injecting drugs. These stringent penalties underscore the seriousness with which drug-related offenses are viewed and aim to deter individuals from engaging in such activities”.

While the bill’s objective is to curb drug trafficking and consumption, the Senate’s decision to defer its consideration indicates a willingness to thoroughly examine its provisions before reaching a final decision. This reflects the importance of ensuring that any legislative measures taken in this regard are both effective and equitable.

“Persons who unlawfully permit or use premises for the storing, concealing, processing or dealing in the drug will be liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years”

Former Plateau State governor, Senator Simon Lalong in his contribution
Said the Bill “is timely, as he also raised concern on the need for the classification of offenders based on the quantity of drugs caught with”

Lalong disclosed that the Drug Barons are patronized by high-class individuals in the society.

He however called for a holistic approach in tackling the menace

The Senate thereafter tasked its committee on judiciary and narcotics to ensure wide consultation on the Bill ahead of the next legislative day.